Situated high in the alpine and surrounded by the best views in the state, Crystal Mountain, Washington’s premier ski destination, offers more than just winter fun. The summer months in this paradise valley offer just as much beauty and adventure. With scenic gondola rides, mountaintop dining, hiking, and close proximity to Mount Rainier National Park, Crystal makes for a great day trip or family weekend getaway. Crystal Mountain feels like a world away, but easy to get to with just a 2-hour drive from Seattle.
Visitors come from far and wide to experience Washington State’s only scenic gondola. After riding the gondola over 2,400 feet from base to summit, Mount Rainier will greet you at the top for a breathtaking experience and 360-degree views of the surrounding Cascades and world-famous peaks. The gondola carries up to eight passengers per cabin and is just a short 13-minute ride to the top. Knowledgeable staff and interpretive signs can help you spot Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Baker, and Glacier Peak in the distance.
Just steps away from the top of the gondola sits the Summit House at 6,872 feet, Washington’s highest elevation restaurant. Surrounded by expansive views of alpine lakes, a close-up view of Mount Rainier, and five active volcanoes, the Summit House offers a unique, elevated dining experience worthy of any bucket list. With full-service dining indoors or casual dining on the patio, the restaurant offers lunch daily, along with special dinner events throughout the summer available by reservation. Farm to Mountain Dinners are offered every Saturday through September 3rd, Full Moon Dinners are offered once a month, and Meteor Shower Dinners are offered mid-August for peak viewing. Reservations are required as these unique dining experiences sell out fast!
As far as activities go, there is endless fun to be had. In addition to the miles of hiking trails of all ability levels, you can play a round of disc golf on the summit ridgeline or take a guided horseback ride through the high alpine trails. Another option is to ride the scenic gondola up to the summit and enjoy a relaxing walk back down the mountain among the abundance of wildflowers, alpine lakes, wildlife, and stunning scenery. Hiking maps are available on Crystal Mountain’s website or can be picked up at guest services. Download the Crystal Mountain App for quick and convenient access.
Adventures await in the wide-open space and fresh alpine air. Whether you come for a solo trip, family outing, or group activity, Crystal Mountain is taking summer to new heights. From mountaintop dining to interpretive hiking trails, fly-fishing to paddleboarding on Crystal-clear lakes, there is something for everyone. Step into the pristine nature of the Pacific Northwest and start a new summer tradition.